Yes, I know. The kids just went back to school and football season just started. It’s still warm outside and Halloween isn’t even here yet. But the holidays – they are looming on the horizon. And NOW is the time to start thinking about them.
The holidays are a busy time for everyone. Not only are you trying to run a business and promote it as a gift choice during the holidays, but you’re also trying to manage your personal life, with parties, shopping, and your own holiday preparations and celebrations. Planning for the holidays now gives you the time to really think about what you want to promote and accomplish this holiday season. It also gives you the time to create good packages and effectively promote your offerings and your business as a gift option. By having a plan in place now, it makes it easier on you and your staff to effectively carry out that plan. It also makes it easier to market your promos and events to your clients with enough advance notice for them to make the time in their schedule to shop or attend. Your clients are busy during the holidays too.
Here are some things to start thinking about and putting together before the holidays are upon us. Take the time to plan these things out now, while it’s still a bit slow. You’ll thank yourself come November.
Think about your holiday packages
The time to start thinking about your holiday packages is now. You want to make sure that these packages are attractive and offer good value to your customer, while also not putting your bottom line into the red. What will you be featuring? Special holiday-themed packages & products? Tried and true offerings? Take a look at what did well, and not so well, last year and then start designing your packages from there.
Don’t forget to think about creating a few offerings for your stressed out clients during the month of December – maybe some mini-treatments to help them rejuvenate, de-stress, and spoil themselves a bit during the busy shopping/party time of December. A quick 15 or 30 minute mini-treatment could be a great quick break for your clients while they are rushing around running errands and getting their holiday shopping done.
Plan out your Holiday Campaigns!
What will you be promoting and when will those campaigns go out? It’s better to decide this now and start putting your holiday promotions schedule together. Once you have your holiday packages and offerings put together, start creating your holiday promotions and get them on your calendar and entered into your SpaBoom account.
Think about how you want to use your social media outlets to keep your followers engaged during the holidays. This could be as easy as creating posts that encourage interaction, such as “What is your favorite holiday tradition?” or What is your dream holiday destination?” or you could create a set of holiday mini-tips to post that offer your clients advice on managing the holidays while still looking and feeling great.
What about all the other holidays?
Don’t just think about Christmas – Consider all the other holidays to celebrate in the final quarter of the year and all the different ways your clients celebrate (from Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to celebrating small businesses on Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday offers). There are so many different holidays to celebrate during that time of the year. Find out what are your clients celebrating and market your holiday offerings to those holidays.
Are you Having a Party?
Do you want to host a holiday event (or multiple events)? Now is the time to start planning and promoting that event. The Saturday after Thanksgiving (Small Business Saturday) or a Holiday Open House in December are great opportunities to promote your business and offerings, while also saying thank you to your loyal clients. But you will need the time to plan out and market this so don’t put it off. Get started on your party planning now!
Consider Holiday Logistics
Take some time to think about some of the unique logistics that the higher traffic and sales of the holidays create. Do you need to stock up on extra product for the holiday? Or need to order decorations, signage, extra gift wrap supplies, or holiday collateral? Now is the time to think about getting those orders in. It’s better to think about these things now and get them handled before the rush starts. Nobody wants to be rushing around at the last minute trying to get more supplies in. That only creates stress and extra expense. Give some thought to whether your staff will need additional training on new services, packages, and products that you plan to feature during the holiday season. That training should happen before the holiday madness starts. Make sure you get that scheduled.
Will your staffing needs change during the holidays and the month of January?
As holiday traffic and business increases with gift packages and rising demands for regular services (during this festive party season), will you need to increase staffing or extend your hours? Consider how you will staff your business during the holidays and into January to ensure that you can effectively provide the regular services your clients expect as well as the demand for additional services that gift packages and increased gift certificate sales generate.
By taking some time to plan out the holiday season now, you’ll be ahead of the game when November rolls around. And that will mean you can focus on delivering the best possible experience to your clients and providing amazing gift ideas and options rather than running around trying to pull your holiday campaign together. It will make everyone’s holidays a lot more joyful.
*** This article is part of our “Time for a Tune Up” series, designed to help you tune up your business practices, get ready for the holidays, and think about your business and marketing strategies, both for the rest of this year and heading into 2015.